PEORIA, Ariz. — Alex Liddi will likely fall outside Seattle’s major-league roster plans. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t gotten the attention of the Mariners’ brass.
The 22-year-old from Italy who played in the 2009 World Baseball Classic hit his second grand slam in as many days Thursday, leading a seven-run rally as the Mariners beat a Los Angeles Angels split squad 10-5.
Liddi, who connected on a 2-1 pitch from reliever Ryan Chaffee in the fifth, also hit a solo shot in a six-inning exhibition game Tuesday — giving him three homers in three days.
“I heard the fans saying ‘Do it again,’ but I was just trying to do something over second base to get two runs in with the bases loaded,” Liddi said. “What happened, I wasn’t trying to do.”
Liddi calls himself more of a line-drive hitter. He’s 4 for 11 (.364) with a team-leading eight RBI this spring.
“I still need to get better and work on some things,” Liddi added. “I feel good but I’m not there yet.”
Left-hander Erik Bedard moved closer to being ready for the Mariners’ starting rotation, allowing a run on three hits with two strikeouts in 2 2-3 innings. Bedard, coming off shoulder surgery that kept him out of the majors last season, threw 55 pitches in his third and longest outing of spring training. The run was the first he’s surrendered this spring.
“It wasn’t as good as the other (starts) but that’s what spring training’s for,” Bedard said. “Results are second and arm is first. When it feels good, it’s a positive.”
Gabe Gross, a non-roster outfielder, also homered for the Mariners, who have five home runs in their last two games.
Peter Bourjos had three hits and two RBI and Kevin Richardson hit a solo home run for the Angels.
Chaffee was responsible for all seven Seattle runs in the fifth, but because of two errors, only one was earned.
Notes: Mariners OF Franklin Gutierrez left the team to be with his father-in-law, Atlanta Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar, who is in a Florida hospital. Salazar was hit in the face by a batted ball Wednesday and underwent surgery. Gutierrez could return to the team as soon as Friday night. … Angels INF Kendrys Morales is progressing with his rehabilitation from a broken ankle suffered last May, and took part in Thursday’s workout in full. No timetable is set for Morales’ spring training game debut.